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Monday, March 03, 2008

Gun issue triggers attention for Luke Scott

Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke!...Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! Crazy Luke! (MSG crowd files out…bloody shirts abound)

Orioles manager Dave Trembley knew about the intensity, all-out hustle and powerful uppercut swing. But he still had one question about his new left fielder, so he approached Luke Scott while Scott was shagging fly balls last week.

“Talk to me about the gun situation,” Trembley said to Scott. Trembley, who has never fired a gun and joked that he wouldn’t know the difference between a water pistol and a BB gun, had read about Scott’s thoughts on gun control and about how the player almost always carries a concealed firearm.

...“I think it’s smart, and it’s your constitutional right to be prepared,” Scott said. “If people want to walk around in la la land and say, ‘Nothing will ever happen to me,’ that’s their choice. I choose not to do that. I don’t go around flashing my gun, I don’t go around and say, ‘Oh, look, I’m carrying a piece.’ I carry in case something happens where I can’t avoid trouble and I can’t leave or there’s a risk that I’m going to lose my life or my property.”

Scott told of one situation several years back when he was at a Houston gas station and was confronted by a man carrying a shank.

“I didn’t pull my gun on him,” Scott said. “I would have if he had gotten close enough, and I would have shot him if he wouldn’t have backed off. But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?”

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2008 at 01:36 AM | 337 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:00 AM (#2704402)
Hey, he is in Baltimore now.
   2. JoeHova Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:17 AM (#2704410)
Hmm, interesting story about the gas station. However, is it even legal to carry a concealed weapon in every state? I could see someone getting in trouble for that with all the interstate travel athletes do. Maybe it is legal though.
   3. Wes Parkers Mood (Mike Green) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2704412)
"But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?"

Happiness is a warm gun.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:22 AM (#2704414)
Hmm, interesting story about the gas station. However, is it even legal to carry a concealed weapon in every state? I could see someone getting in trouble for that with all the interstate travel athletes do. Maybe it is legal though.

If he has a permit to carry in his home state, most states give reciprocity. Not the "blue" states though. NY doesn't, I doubt NJ,CA,IL,MA, or MD do.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:29 AM (#2704417)
Grab your glocks when you see Luke Scott
Call the cops when you see Luke Scott
   6. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#2704421)
This is just another instance of a ballplayer with a sketchy memory of his own past.

I went to both Handgun-Reference and Retroshoot to see if Scott's story checks out and the closest instance I could find was an event in Miami, not Houston. And it wasn't a scary dude with a shank, but a Girl Scout peddling some Caramel deLites.

It should be noted, however, that the end result was accurate. When Scott lifted up his shirt, that little tramp backed away right quick.
   7. steagles Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:34 AM (#2704422)
good for luke scott. the piece that he was in for baseball tonight made him seem like a bit of a nut, which is probably the consensus opinion of him because of his gun views, but i do find myself agreeing with him far more than not.
   8. Honkie Kong Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:41 AM (#2704424)
Isn't there a law that you can't carry a firearm into an establishment selling liquor?
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:44 AM (#2704425)
I doubt NJ,CA,IL,MA, or MD do.


Concealed carry is definitely illegal in Illinois. I can't speak for any other state.
   10. Guapo Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:44 AM (#2704426)
Orioles manager Dave Trembley knew about the intensity, all-out hustle and powerful uppercut swing. But he still had one question about his new left fielder, so he approached Luke Scott while Scott was shagging fly balls last week.

“I didn’t pull my gun on him,” Scott said. “I would have if he had gotten close enough, and I would have shot him if he wouldn’t have backed off. But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun] and I said, ‘Can I help you?’ He stopped in his tracks. Who knows what that saved me?”
   11. xbhaskarx Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:45 AM (#2704427)
Triggers attention, I get it!
   12. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:45 AM (#2704428)
As long as he breaks no laws, I don't understand why it's a story at all.
   13. Snowboy Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:03 AM (#2704432)
In other news, Scott was 0-3 today, hitting fifth and DHing.
   14. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:20 AM (#2704438)
Bravo, Guapo, bravo.
   15.     Hey Gurl Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:22 AM (#2704439)
Number 6 is RDF
   16. BeanoCook Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:31 AM (#2704441)
Only Wisconsin and Illinois have a complete ban on conceal and carry. 48 States allow some form of it.
   17. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:46 AM (#2704446)
Good for Scott. A sensible and effective approach to guns.

An armed society is a polite society. Here's to knocking down the concealed-carry bans in blue states someday...hopefully the people of these states will come to their senses.
   18. AROM Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:15 AM (#2704455)
In Maryland Scott can transport his weapon as long is it's unloaded. If he wants to concealed carry, he can live in Virginia, but if so he's got a lot of Maryland to drive through to get to Camden Yards. I'll have to check but I think concealed carry is very difficult to get in Maryland, you'd have to show a really good reason. I don't think just being a semi-rich athlete and NRA supporter is good enough.

To carry in MD, for most people, you'd have to transport the ammunition separately from the gun, like keep the gun in his trunk and the ammo in a glovebox, or the other way around. Personally, I'd never keep an unloaded gun in the glovebox. No way I want a cop to see that and freak out on me if I'm just trying to find my auto registration.
   19. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:24 AM (#2704461)
Personally, I'd never keep an unloaded gun in the glovebox. No way I want a cop to see that and freak out on me if I'm just trying to find my auto registration.

If you need to get something out of a glove compartment that you know has a loose unloaded gun in it, I would think that you would mention it to the cop at the time he asks for your registration, not just surprisingly pull it out.
   20. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:25 AM (#2704463)
An armed society is a polite society. Here's to knocking down the concealed-carry bans in blue states someday...hopefully the people of these states will come to their senses.

Absofrigginlutely. Lord knows the root of politeness is fear that the guy you were going to be rude to has a gun.
   21. Robert S. Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:27 AM (#2704464)
I don’t go around and say, ‘Oh, look, I’m carrying a piece.’

Unless you're a teammate, his manager, ESPN, or the Baltimore Sun.
   22. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:49 AM (#2704471)
An armed society is a polite society. Here's to knocking down the concealed-carry bans in blue states someday...hopefully the people of these states will come to their senses.

Jesus, considering what they're already like, I'd hate to see the Japanese be allowed to carry guns. They'd be doing nothing but bowing to each other 24 hours a day. They'd polite themselves to death.
   23. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:54 AM (#2704472)
Great thread. 6, 10, 21 and 22 are all really funny.
   24. HowardMegdal Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:34 AM (#2704481)
I'm not thrilled by this news, given Luke Scott's propensity to miss.
   25. pthomas Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:44 AM (#2704488)
Geez, I wish this was a Milton Bradley story.
   26. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:28 AM (#2704510)
If he has a permit to carry in his home state, most states give reciprocity. Not the "blue" states though. NY doesn't, I doubt NJ,CA,IL,MA, or MD do.


NY does allow you to carry concealed, but you do need a permit from NY to do so.

Gun Guys: Where Everyone's a Straight Shooter
   27. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:37 AM (#2704512)
Similarly for NJ. You need a permit, which isn't quite impossible to get.
   28. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:44 AM (#2704513)
I'm sorry, I just had to point it out...why am I not surprised that arkitekton provides a link to a vehemently anti-gun site?

Certainly not because he's a liberal masquerading as a "conservative." No. Perish the thought.

(And yes arkitekton, every time you let the mask slip like this, I will point it out...it's quite amusing.)
   29. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 07:57 AM (#2704515)
Errrrrr.... my grandfather landed at D-Day, was against immigration, voted strict republican until he died, and was viciously anti-gun. Was he also masquerading as conservative?

I don't think arkitekton should care what the conservatives here or anywhere else label him. But especially here. ;-)

Howard's comment wins, however.

Lord knows the root of politeness is fear that the guy you were going to be rude to has a gun.

Really? Seriously? Actually, the root of my politeness has always been treating people the way I'd like to be treated, not fear of death.

I wonder if Pedro's ever shot a gun. You get the feeling he'd be one of those scary naturals at it, and yet never want to shoot one after scoring 100 or whatever on a gun test.
   30. Depressoteric feels Royally blue these days Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:04 AM (#2704516)
Yeah, I'm on an Inspector Javert trip these days.

And Lassus, voting Republican or being against immigration has nothing to do with being a conservative. Nothing at all. Back in your father's day there were tons of liberal Republicans (Rockefeller types, real cancers in the party who had made their peace with the New Deal) and even MORE conservative Democrats, so that's certainly not dispositive. And being against immigration? If you mean being against ALL immigration, then that's just pig-ignorant, and related (at best) to the sort of vulgar populism that politicians of both parties have periodically appealed to.

As for gun rights, I would say that it IS, with at some shadings, as close to a litmus test as possible for conservatism. There's nothing wrong with people who think it's insane to legalize rocket launchers for all - in other words, the 2nd Amendment grants a right subject to sensible regulation. But at the very least anyone who believes that the 2nd Am. doesn't grant an individual right, or believes that such right extends only to "hunting or sport" and not self-defense, is pretty damn doubtful as a conservative. Not because I particularly fetishize guns or anything (don't own one myself, don't plan on owning one), but rather because one's attitude towards gun rights is a reliable bellwether, a "canary in the coalmine" if you will, suggesting one's attitude towards a number of other individual liberties.
   31. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:18 AM (#2704519)
Oh, whatever, Eso. In today's world, there are a lot more bellwethers than simply gun control for what would be considered "conservative", and the examples I used in real-people down-to-earth discussions have to be included. I used those two examples because they were expressed in the 80's and didn't want to get into my grandfather's entire political spectrum. To my 15-year-old ears, it wasn't pretty. He was a grumpy old man who would never be anything but conservative, no matter what you imagine the definition to be.

But I did hear him discuss guns with a number of friends and my mother over the years, as it was about the only thing they ever (EVER, seriously - not a pretty relationship) agreed upon. He found the 2nd amendment argument pathetic, and finally closed the discussion with some chucklehead at a diner with "No one's shooting at you here, you idiot. When we get invaded, I'll get myself a gun, and until then, you and I know more people who've been shot by angry ass holes than defending themselves, by a mile." It was one of the very few times I ever heard my grandfather swear. There were also some hammer-on-finger incidents. Heh.

I've always liked his view on it. Lord knows it was better than him talking about the "chinks". He didn't live long enough to meet my girlfriend in college, thank god.
   32. ian Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:51 AM (#2704523)
That more angry ######## succeed in attacking than fail doesn't prove gun control is smart.
   33. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:54 AM (#2704525)
I don't think arkitekton should care what the conservatives here or anywhere else label him. But especially here. ;-)


Thanks, Lassus. I might care, if there were any conservatives on this site. Other than myself, of course. ;)

As it is I just put the frauds on "ignore".
   34. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:55 AM (#2704526)
Not that more succeed than fail - that way WAY more people use guns to attack than defend.

NOTE: I have no figures. I do wonder what they are.

Arkitekton, there are plenty of conservatives on this site.

And, I'll take Koko Taylor.
   35. Exploring Leftist Conservatism since 2008 (ark..) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 08:59 AM (#2704527)
Fair enough. There are some authentic ones, hence the "wink" emoticon.
Koko is good. Any favorite songs?
   36. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 01:29 PM (#2704546)
I must lame out this morning and simply say "all of them". I can't remember a time when her voice didn't make me smile and sway, ark.

It seems lame also, but I'll go with the standard talk to the relatives of the dead about smart, not the living, ian.
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:26 PM (#2704564)
"Similarly for NJ. You need a permit, which isn't quite impossible to get."

I'm pretty sure you need a PA permit for PA, but it's pretty much a non-issue for anyone who's allowed to buy a handgun in the first place. You fill out the form, you pay your money, and that's that.

"But at the very least anyone who believes that the 2nd Am. doesn't grant an individual right, or believes that such right extends only to "hunting or sport" and not self-defense, is pretty damn doubtful as a conservative."

I don't think I can agree with this. I've known a lot of unambiguous conservatives who believed in gun control, and a lot of unambiguous liberals who didn't.
   38. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#2704568)
An armed society is a polite society.

What about the guy who would just mind his own business without concealed carry who will now get all up in my face because I have to think that maybe he would be packing? "Polite," my middle leg.

Edit: "Insane Asylum".
   39. hscs Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:42 PM (#2704571)
While Gabriel 'Gabe' Cash was flashing his whistle, underlining one of the conceal and carry verses in the Old Testament, and coming up with some tough talk, it would have been pretty easy to stick him.
   40. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 02:54 PM (#2704578)
Luke Scott was so mean, he once shot a man just for snoring.
   41. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:00 PM (#2704587)
It may be a conservative value to support the right to own guns, but the notion that "an armed society is a polite society" seems profoundly un-conservative.

As I see it, a workable conservatism is based on a deep grasp of human fallibility, imperfectability - fallenness, in Catholic idiom. There is wisdom in currently-existing social order, and while change is a natural aspect of life, we need to be extremely modest in our attempts to make changes, given our fallen state.

Given such an understanding of humanity, it seems to follow obviously that people will misuse guns. They will not ensure civility, but they will kill people. Technological changes, while irreversible, bring on greater and greater possibililty for human evil. Now, I think the common conservative response would be that, nonetheless, the attempt to force compliance to confiscatory gun laws through government action is worse than the currently-existing situation, and I find that a perfectly plausible idea. In general, opposition to gun restrictions, support of gun rights, makes sense from a conservative point of view.

The utopianism of "an armed society is a polite society", though, deserves no such respect. That's just crazy talk, based on a failure to remember the lodestar of conservatism, human fallibility.
   42. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:07 PM (#2704594)
You know, it occurs to me that Scott's statements could lead to some neat gamesmanship. Do his statements constitute probable cause to search him? E.g., if Lou Piniella didn't want Scott avaliable to the Astros, couldn't he show this quote to a friendly Cub fan who also happened to be a cop and thereby have Scott detained while trying to enter Wrigley carrying a concealed weapon? They could probably make life pretty hard for him if they wanted, maybe even keep him out of the game.
   43. Mattbert Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2704598)
If there's one thing Lou Piniella doesn't have to worry about this year, it's Luke Scott being available to the Astros.
   44. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2704599)
MCoA, I think that depends on how you interpret the call to action in recognition of our fallen state. You stated one side just fine, but one could equally say that our fallen state means we should always be aware of the precarious condition of our fellow man and be prepared for him to do his worst. I.e., I'm not sure you can make a consistent political philosophy out of that particular Christian given.
   45. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:11 PM (#2704601)
If there's one thing Lou Piniella doesn't have to worry about this year, it's Luke Scott being available to the Astros.

Ha, really, I'm showing my age. But my point stands.
   46. Hack Wilson Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:12 PM (#2704602)
confronted by a man carrying a shank


Has Luke spent much time in jail? I have only heard the word shank in prison movies.

To appear less as a redneck Luke should change his story to "once when I was walking through the Cabrini-Green Housing Project at midnight I was accosted by an unruly group of ruffians displaying cudgels and bludgeons, I merely had to wave my NRA membership card and they quickly dispersed."
   47. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:13 PM (#2704603)
You stated one side just fine, but one could equally say that our fallen state means we should always be aware of the precarious condition of our fellow man and be prepared for him to do his worst.
This is a categorically different claim. It might follow that one ought to carry a gun, though I find that unlikely. (Should we avoid highway driving? carry a stash of cipro?)

It definitely does not follow that "an armed society is a polite society" - that's utopianism.

EDIT: clarity
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:14 PM (#2704604)
Seems to me the right to bear arms is being allowed in the context of a well-regulated militia. I don't see how that allows any individual who wants one to own one.

That may be the primary reason, but it does not imply a limitation of the right. Read the Federalist Papers or any of the state constitutions drafted by Jefferson, Madison et al. In any case, the Militia was, and is (Militia act of 1792) the entire able bodied adult male population (we'd probably want to extend that to women now ;-))

If you really want to make the militia argument, and ensure the ability of the populace to resist the government (which is what our founders intended), you're going to end up allowing individuals to own machine guns, light anti-tank weapons, mortars and light artillery.
   49. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:20 PM (#2704609)
This is a categorically different claim.

Yeah, that's my point, really. You can take the Christian imperative any way you want to take it. The Bible is large and you can get anything out of it you like.

"an armed society is a polite society" - that's utopianism.

I don't think it's utopianism nearly so much as it is just another dumb-dumb bullet in a gun-worshiper's bandolier of arguments why he should have a gun. He'll keep firing talking points at someone, maybe he'll eventually hit a nerve.

[Edited for clarity.]
   50. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2704611)
This is a categorically different claim.

Yeah, that's my point, really. You can take the Christian imperative any way you want to take it. The Bible is large and you can get anything out of it you like.
No, it's a claim about a categorically different topic.

Should one carry a gun? != Will we create a polite society through universal gun ownership and concealed carry?
   51. Mattbert Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2704612)
They could probably make life pretty hard for him if they wanted, maybe even keep him out of the game.

To address your point seriously, Dr. M...yes, somebody could probably give Scott a hard time about his gun, but I think if it came to the point where he was in danger of missing a game due to getting held up by the authorities, he'd probably just hand over the piece for a few hours and deal with it later.
   52. Belfry Bob Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:22 PM (#2704613)
I was wondering where Luke was carrying the gun when he said 'I pulled up my shirt.' Was it tucked in his pants? That's probably illegal while you're pumping gas, isn't it? I think it's right there on the pump's warning sign:

TURN OFF ENGINE

DO NOT DISPENSE IN UNAUTHORIZED CONTAINERS

DO NOT USE CELL PHONES WHILE PUMPING

DO NOT TOP OFF TANK

DO NOT PACK HEAT WHILE PUMP IS IN OPERATION

Or perhaps he was inside the store buying a Big Burp and a Tabasco-flavored Slim Jim. In which case, never mind.
   53. AROM Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:27 PM (#2704616)
Has Luke spent much time in jail?


He was, but ol' Luke just kept on trying to escape.

I will support a ban on guns when police officers are not allowed to carry them either.
   54. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:28 PM (#2704617)
To MCoA, the tyoe of conservatism you just suggested actually belongs to evangelism. The primary tennant of conservatism is that the government should be small. Its not based on something like "fallenness". Conservatism has become more and more associated with evangelism over the years since fundies hijacked the major religious groups (like the Southern Baptist Convention, which was once considered fairly liberal) and the Republican party. "Social" conservatism has very little to do with political conservatism and is fairly recent in terms of history, developing over the last fifty years or so (if I'm wrong, please correct me, but it began to happen around the time of McCarthy, one of the least conservative men in history).

Remember, the south tends to be conservative compared to most of rest of the country and usually votes strongly democratic in state elections. Dems in the south (ie Kentucky on down) tend to be far more social conservative than their Republican counter parts, but their populist economic leanings make them popular (ie, government subsidies). The true litmus for the conservative is really only one thing, do you believe in a small central government? If you say yes, your primary core is conservative. To "prove" it, if you will, you're going to support the state's rights to regulate themselves more than not. If you're a fan of bigger government (no shame in that, though I'm not), you would support federal regulation of the states. Oddly enough, No Child Left Behind, passed by the illustrous George W. Bush, is an extremely liberal policy, forcing federal oversight of what is better controlled, IMHO, by the state and local school boards. NAFTA, passed by Clinton, deregulated Federal tariffs on our little economic block, would be seen as fairly conservative.
   55. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:29 PM (#2704619)
DO NOT USE CELL PHONES WHILE PUMPING

I make it a point to use my cell phone when I gas up in order to thumb my noise at that ridiculousness.
   56. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:35 PM (#2704631)
DO NOT USE CELL PHONES WHILE PUMPING

I make it a point to use my cell phone when I gas up in order to thumb my noise at that ridiculousness.


I always call my gun dealer on my cell phone while I'm getting gas

(In SC, carrying a concealed weapon is mandatory)
   57. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:40 PM (#2704637)
"Has Luke spent much time in jail? I have only heard the word shank in prison movies."

Maybe he said that the man was carrying a shark, but was misquoted. I choose to believe that this is true, because the mental image is much more amusing.
   58. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:42 PM (#2704641)
The primary tennant of conservatism is that the government should be small.
That government should be small is a conclusion from first principles, not itself a first principle.

It sounds to me like you're a libertarian, which is not the same thing as being conservative. Libertarianism - and watch, this will be the first and only time I attempt to summarize their philosophy fairly - is based on a particular theory of human individual autonomy, and on a theory of the contractual basis of human society, under which government exists to protect the functioning of a market based on free assent to mutual contract, and whatever comes from that market can be generally assumed to reflect human desires and, probably, the best state of society. It is based on an enlightenment theory of human individuality and autonomy.

That is quite different from conservatism, though both may draw from (quite different) first principles a claim for limited government. A conservative should have little faith that the market will produce human good, and should have little faith that human desires are anything other than the result of improper training and sinfulness. Existing social constraints and community organizations (churches, etc) exist to maintain structures of society that we can conclude have an inherent good based on their historical functioning. They ought to be protected against the incursions of "free market" forces that may harm them. Conservatism is based on a basic faith that existing human societies have wisdom to them, and we are not universal men who can look over the whole of the human race and determine exactly how to perfect society. Our desires do not necessarily reflect or produce the good.

If I had to choose between the "evangelism" of the wisdom of existing social constraints and the "evangelism" of a free market reflecting human desires for the good of society, I'm with the former way before the latter.
   59. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:43 PM (#2704642)
Should one carry a gun? != Will we create a polite society through universal gun ownership and concealed carry?

They may not be equal, but they sure as heck intersect in the real world.
   60. Mattbert Posted: March 03, 2008 at 03:51 PM (#2704652)
DO NOT USE CELL PHONES WHILE PUMPING

I make it a point to use my cell phone when I gas up in order to thumb my noise at that ridiculousness.


I always thought this was bunk too, with some old studies having failed to turn up any evidence that cell phones could ignite petroleum. However, I did get an email a few weeks ago from a client who works for one of the largest oil companies in the world. The email included a security camera video purporting to show a station attendant in Brazil getting blowed up when he used his cell phone as a light to look in the hatch of a tanker truck that was preparing to fill up the station's tanks.

I still suspect it's bunk. The video was not exactly conclusive, and, in my opinion, there were other potential causes for the explosion. However, all my clients in the oil and gas sector are treating it as a legitimate risk. I think that says more about their public posture of risk aversion than the actual legitimacy of the risk itself, but just thought I'd put it out there.
   61. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#2704661)
So you disagree with the assesment that conservatives would favor stronger states rights over stronger federal regulation? This is a different view of the term conservative than I have encountered anywhere (except possibly here, where people consider Nieporent an arch conservative). You've basically stated that McCain is a libertarian, in that most of the social compacts put before congress that he's voted against, his stated reason for voting against them is that he belives them to be STATE issues, as opposed to federal ones.

Socially, you'll find very lttle favoritism toward people attempting to insert religous morality onto people, especially that found in the latter day existence of the Southern Baptist Conference (I am a member of a Cooperative Baptist church, though an indifferent one). Most would consider me strong in terms of law enforcement and military strnegth, though I believe the federally guided war on drugs to have been a complete failure (who knows more about drug dealers, the local sheriff, the the Federal DEA guys who come out of vcentralized hubs in various regions?). My presidential identifers belong to Eisenhower and Roosevelt.

I do not believe in the complete deregulation of business. Interstate business should be monitored by the federal government, and I'm a very big fan of anti-trust laws, which have been poorly and inconsistently enforced over the years. I generally favor lower taxes, lower spending, though I feel the US's greatest competeive advantage economically is ouir public school system. You will find very few libertarians who agree with any of those idea. The idea that Huckabee is some kind of politcal conservative, while McCain is not, is laughable. McCain is the guy I'll be supporting in the general election.

The idea that a large government is harmful to its citizens and should be pruned dates back to at least Jefferson. A large govenment may set out with the best of intentions, but inevitably will harms its people is a first principle. I do not believe that government should choose Christian tenants, as the governments job is not to impose religous morality on its people. Our Congress is made up of representatives of states precisely because of the importance of states rights in country and its history. I do not belive in ineffective government, only that government is better handled the closer it is to its people (ie, state and local).
   62. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#2704663)
However, all my clients in the oil and gas sector are treating it as a legitimate risk. I think that says more about their public posture of risk aversion than the actual legitimacy of the risk itself, but just thought I'd put it out there.

No doubt.

However, I'm fairly certain that in every situation where there's been an explosion and someone's claimed it was the cell phone, every time it's investigated it turns out to be something, almost always static electricity, usually from the person getting back into their car.

Wearing tight jeans is probably many times the risk as using a cell phone.
   63. Hal Chase Headley Lamarr Hoyt Wilhelm (ACE1242) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:08 PM (#2704669)
the entire able bodied adult male population

White males aged 18-45, IIRC.

That lets out:

-- me
-- the instructor who taught me Handgun 101
-- the range master in Farmingdale, NY

... each for a different reason.
   64. Spahn Insane Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:21 PM (#2704681)
If there's one thing Lou Piniella doesn't have to worry about this year, it's Luke Scott being available to the Astros.

Ha, really, I'm showing my age. But my point stands.


Believe the Cubs *do* play the Orioles this year. Think it's in Baltimore, though...
   65. Spahn Insane Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:23 PM (#2704686)
Heh--I was mistaken: June 24-26, the O's are, in fact, at North Face Park at Wrigley Gardens. Maybe I should drop Piniella an email.
   66. SoSH U at work Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:24 PM (#2704688)
Wearing tight jeans is probably many times the risk as using a cell phone.


Proving yet again why we should all heed the wisdom of Smitty.*
   67. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2704690)
White males aged 18-45, IIRC.

That lets out:

-- me
-- the instructor who taught me Handgun 101
-- the range master in Farmingdale, NY

... each for a different reason.


Well, that was who was to be in organized companies. All able bodied males were elligible for call up in case of emergency. The Act were later amended to include blacks.
   68. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:26 PM (#2704691)
I always thought this was bunk too, with some old studies having failed to turn up any evidence that cell phones could ignite petroleum. However, I did get an email a few weeks ago from a client who works for one of the largest oil companies in the world. The email included a security camera video purporting to show a station attendant in Brazil getting blowed up when he used his cell phone as a light to look in the hatch of a tanker truck that was preparing to fill up the station's tanks.
IIRC, Mythbusters debunked this one.
   69. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:28 PM (#2704693)
Seems to me the right to bear arms is being allowed in the context of a well-regulated militia. I don't see how that allows any individual who wants one to own one.
Seems to me you're really incompetent at reading. It doesn't say anything about "contexts." It says "the right of the people," which throughout the constitution is read to mean individuals. The preamble explains the purpose of the right, but does not define the contours of the right.
   70. Hack Wilson Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:29 PM (#2704694)
"Has Luke spent much time in jail? I have only heard the word shank in prison movies."

Maybe he said that the man was carrying a shark, but was misquoted. I choose to believe that this is true, because the mental image is much more amusing.


You are right he also didn't actually say,

But all I had to do was lift up my shirt and put my hand on [the gun]


He actually said he lifted up his skirt and put his hand on his, uh, gun. Believe me the guy with the shark would take off.
   71. Gotham Dave Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:34 PM (#2704698)
White males aged 18-45, IIRC.



45? Able-bodied? In the late 18th century? The earliest data I could find says that life expectancy at birth in 1850 was about 40. Of course, if you made it to age 10 that went up to almost 60, but still. 45 was pretty frickin' old back then.
   72. DKDC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:35 PM (#2704700)
The preamble explains the purpose of the right, but does not define the contours of the right.

It's the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that explicitly explains its purpose.

If they didn't want future interpretations to take the purpose of the law into account, why was it in included in the language?
   73. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:36 PM (#2704702)
MCoA: seems to me you're defining conservatism to be closer to continental conservatism; American conservatism is a species of classical liberalism, which, while not utopian, does not have the same dark view of human nature that you do.

(By the way, for anybody who doesn't recognize it, "An armed society is a polite society" is Heinlein.)
   74. BeanoCook Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:39 PM (#2704704)
David, #80 nailed it. Today's conservative is indeed a proponent of classical liberalism. Individual freedom, property rights and limited government.
   75. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:41 PM (#2704705)
45? Able-bodied? In the late 18th century? The earliest data I could find says that life expectancy at birth in 1850 was about 40. Of course, if you made it to age 10 that went up to almost 60, but still. 45 was pretty frickin' old back then.

Not really. As you said, the reason life expectancy was low was b/c half of children died before age 5. Other died b/c of disease. But a 45 year old wasn't decrepit. He was probably physically stronger than today's 45 year old b/c he did physical labor his whole life. Look at the Declaration of Independence signers, many lived into their 70's.
   76. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#2704707)
It's the only amendment in the Bill of Rights that explicitly explains its purpose.
You may want to read Eugene Volokh's <u>Commonplace Second Amendment</u>, 73 NYU L. Rev. 793 (1998). He points out that in fact the structure of the second amendment, including preamble, was quite common at the time the BoR was being drafted. It was used throughout state constitutions for rights provisions, not limited to gun-related issues. It's true that this is the only preamble that made it into the federal BoR (*), but the language is not at all unusual, and does not signify that they were treating the RKBA differently than other rights.


(*) But not the only one that made it into the federal constitution; see the Copyright/Patent clause.
   77. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:51 PM (#2704711)
Here's the Court of Appeals ruling in DC vs. Heller.

This is heading for the Supreme Court and will likely be settled soon. 55 Senators, 250 Reps. and 31 states have signed amicus briefs in support of this ruling.

Only radical anti-gunners really believe the "militia" argument any more. Even Laurence Tribe supports the individual right definition.

“ To summarize, we conclude that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. That right existed prior to the formation of the new government under the Constitution and was premised on the private use of arms for activities such as hunting and self-defense, the latter being understood as resistance to either private lawlessness or the depredations of a tyrannical government (or a threat from abroad). In addition, the right to keep and bear arms had the important and salutary civic purpose of helping to preserve the citizen militia. The civic purpose was also a political expedient for the Federalists in the First Congress as it served, in part, to placate their Antifederalist opponents. The individual right facilitated militia service by ensuring that citizens would not be barred from keeping the arms they would need when called forth for militia duty. Despite the importance of the Second Amendment's civic purpose, however, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual's enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia. ”
   78. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 04:59 PM (#2704718)
Seems to me you're really incompetent at reading. It doesn't say anything about "contexts." It says "the right of the people," which throughout the constitution is read to mean individuals. The preamble explains the purpose of the right, but does not define the contours of the right.

Come on. This is con law 101. This isn't the preamble to the constitution (and even then the preamble is meaningful) -- it's the text of the amendment itself. You cannot possibly interpret the amendment without the well regulated militia clause. (that being said, it's an incredibly vague amendment, and there are many reasonable interpretations)
   79. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:02 PM (#2704719)
Yeattgghhhh, do you truly believe the founders did not believe in the individuals right to bear arms? Or do you believe that the amendment is unnecesary. One of these beliefs allows for governmental action to abridge the right to bear arms, the other requries a constitutional amendment.
   80. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2704720)
Just to winnow it down a bit....

---Does anyone here really think that individual citizens should be allowed to own assault weapons? Why? To what benign purpose? A more efficient elimination of the deer menace? A "really powerful" deterrent against street crime beyond that of less exotic guns?

---Does anyone here NOT believe in doing background checks on any prospective gun owner? Why not? Do you really believe that some future totalitarian government is going to conduct simultaneous raids throughout the country one night and disarm everyone? If not that, then what exactly are you worried about?

---Does anyone here believe in total gun control, including a ban on even properly licensed hunting rifles and properly licensed handguns? ("properly licensed" meaning with background checks for violent crimes or evidence of mental instability)

---Does anyone want to argue that the difference in violent crime and incarceration between the United States and most other developed countries is primarily due to our genetic makeup and inherent criminal tendencies, and not to a large extent with our far more widespread ownership of guns?

---Does anyone actually see a practical and politically realistic way of reducing the number of incidents of violent crime (including gun crime) in this country, without simply throwing more and more people in jail, at considerable financial and social costs to society? We already have more people locked up than any country in the world, and we still have a ridiculously high violent crime rate compared to most any other developed country.

---But as a corollary to the above, is there any realistic way that we're ever going to get to what many or most people would say is a reasonable middle ground: Regulated and licensed sporting rifle and personal handgun ownership, with additional allowances for antiquarian and collectible guns.

I doubt it. Las Vegasically speaking, we're going to be living with armed robbery, murder, accidental gun deaths, school massacres, etc., for a long, long time, simply because it's way too low on the priority list of those who are sick of it, but don't have the energy or the stomach to keep batting their heads against the concrete wall of the NRA and its sympathizers.

What I simply can't understand is the way that a position like my own (allowing for properly licensed ownership of most every type of firearm other than those which have little credible purpose beyond military or criminal activity) is seized upon and twisted by the gun lobby into that of a person who "hates guns." I wish someone could explain that bit of mental gymnastics, because I've been trying to figure it out for a long time.
   81. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:03 PM (#2704721)
If the original framers intended broad latitude on gun ownership, it seems odd to me they would have included language referencing militias.
But as was pointed out above, there's no contradiction here; the militia was (and is) broad-based. It isn't the National Guard. It's the entire adult male population. So "referencing" militias wouldn't serve to significantly narrow the contours of the right, even if the right was in some way connected to militia service.

In any case, grammatically, the preamble does not limit the right. It provides a reason the right exists, but it doesn't say "the right of militias" or "the right of states to have militias." It says, "The right of the people."
   82. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:08 PM (#2704727)
Frightening to think even a non-lawyer like myself can read the constitution with more clarity than our noble libertarian with the law degree. No wonder the legal system is so ###### up.


Nonsense. How can you claim, OTOH, that this stuff is "just an interpretation" and then applaud yourself for your interpretation? Clearly there has been some difference opinion on the meaning of the text.

That said, I agree with DMN that the text pretty clearly is talking about a right it understands to inhere in the people (or the individual) and that its prefatory comment seems to make the amendment state something like, "As a militia is a good thing, we will not infringe this right people have to bear arms." The implication is, it seems to me, that a gov't could "infringe the right" in certain circumstances, but that it would be doing just that, "infringing upon a right." Is that a fair interpretation?

And, I agree w/Andy.
   83. JC in DC Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:13 PM (#2704730)
Implausible, Kevin.
   84. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#2704735)
Wearing tight jeans is probably many times the risk as using a cell phone.

Can tight jeans cause brain tumors, though? Gotcha there!
   85. Gaelan Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:18 PM (#2704738)
It's impossible to talk about liberalism and conservatism in a theoretically rigorous manner in the context of contemporary politics. By any meaningful definition both the Republican and Democratic party are liberal parties, and 90% of Americans are liberals. Liberalism is so dominant that Americans don't even know that their political debates happen within a very narrow bubble of shared ideology.
   86. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:19 PM (#2704739)
Yeattgghhhh, do you truly believe the founders did not believe in the individuals right to bear arms? Or do you believe that the amendment is unnecesary. One of these beliefs allows for governmental action to abridge the right to bear arms, the other requries a constitutional amendment.

I should have been clearer before. I do believe the amend. endorses an individual's right to bear arms, and I don't agree with kevin to the extent he's arguing that the amendment allows for arms only in the context of a well regulated militia. That said, I also disagree with DMN to the extent he's suggesting that the well regulated militia clause is meaningless or has no bearing on the scope of the right. I also agree with Andy.
   87. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:21 PM (#2704741)
Can tight jeans cause brain tumors, though? Gotcha there!


They do just as much as cell phones.
   88. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:24 PM (#2704744)
Just to further confuse the issue, while I disagree with kevin's interpretation in 92, I don't think it's implausible. The reality is that the amendment is incredibly confusing, and subject to a number of reasonable interpretations. I think an individual right subject to a fair amount of government regulation is the most reasonable and historically accurate reading.
   89. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:32 PM (#2704751)
<quote>---Does anyone here really think that individual citizens should be allowed to own assault weapons? Why? To what benign purpose? A more efficient elimination of the deer menace? A "really powerful" deterrent against street crime beyond that of less exotic guns?</quote>

I agree with this, and see no need for individual citizens to own a assault weapons. It's also clear that the founders could not have forseen the possiblity of modern assault weapons.

<quote>---Does anyone here NOT believe in doing background checks on any prospective gun owner? Why not? Do you really believe that some future totalitarian government is going to conduct simultaneous raids throughout the country one night and disarm everyone? If not that, then what exactly are you worried about?</quote>

Background checks are an excellent idea, providing of course that they take less time than the FBI background checks do. If hunting season is coming up in two weeks, I don't want to have to wait six months to purchase my gun.

<quote>---Does anyone here believe in total gun control, including a ban on even properly licensed hunting rifles and properly licensed handguns? ("properly licensed" meaning with background checks for violent crimes or evidence of mental instability)</quote>

I am absolutely certain their are people on this board who believe in absolute gun control.

<quote>---Does anyone want to argue that the difference in violent crime and incarceration between the United States and most other developed countries is primarily due to our genetic makeup and inherent criminal tendencies, and not to a large extent with our far more widespread ownership of guns?</quote>

Incarceration stems largely from our draconian drug laws, and to a lesser extent, our recent madness of three strikes your out and mandatroy minimums. Lessen the penalties for jail time stemming from drug use, you'll lessen the prison population considerably. No doubt gun ownership plays a part in our violent crime rate, but so does the fact that the culture of the US is far more fractured than the culture of any other country in the developed world. I tends to cause clashes that just wouldn't heppen in a lot of other places.

<quote>---Does anyone actually see a practical and politically realistic way of reducing the number of incidents of violent crime (including gun crime) in this country, without simply throwing more and more people in jail, at considerable financial and social costs to society? We already have more people locked up than any country in the world, and we still have a ridiculously high violent crime rate compared to most any other developed country.</quote>

Yes, its called education. How about mandatory education on gun use, gun safety, and the consequences of pulling the trigger. Kentucky requires mandatory hunter safety course before the purchase of any shotgun or rifle (I don't know about pistols). Pictures of what hapopens to a person after they've been shot shown graphically takes a lot of the romance of gun crimes down. If you want to buy a gun, you have to educated in its use, in safety, and in its consequences. Will it completely get rid of violent gun crimes? No. Will it curtail them? I believe so yes. How do we pay for them? We charge the people who want to buy a gun for the classes. (I had to pay for mine). My father believes that everyone should own a M-16, and even he felt that gun education course were a good idea. Yes, it means some criminals will have better aim. But it might convince some people not to become criminals in the first place.

<quote>---But as a corollary to the above, is there any realistic way that we're ever going to get to what many or most people would say is a reasonable middle ground: Regulated and licensed sporting rifle and personal handgun ownership, with additional allowances for antiquarian and collectible guns.</quote>

This country hasa historical taboos against sex, but sees violence as perfectly natural. Hence R ratings for movies like Hostel, but NC-17 ratings for a movie like Orgasmo (which features very little exposure of genitalia). Education, however, is very hard for anyone to argue against, including the NRA. When someone like my dad is for it, then anyone can be convinced. If gun ownership is a fact of life, then lets tell people what happens when their misused.

[EDIT] Response to Yeargh: Thank you for the response and the clarification.
   90. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:33 PM (#2704753)
---Does anyone here really think that individual citizens should be allowed to own assault weapons? Why? To what benign purpose? A more efficient elimination of the deer menace? A "really powerful" deterrent against street crime beyond that of less exotic guns?
Well, there isn't any such thing as an "assault weapon," Andy; it's a made-up anti-gun-rights phrase. It basically means "ordinary gun that looks scary." (The so-called, and now-expired, "Assault Weapons Ban," placed restrictions on guns based on cosmetic characteristics while leaving virtually identical weapons untouched.) Ordinary hunting rifles are "assault weapons."

To the extent you mean something like "powerful guns" when you say "assault weapons," the rest of your question presupposes that the purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect hunting, or even self-defense. While some state RKBAs do mention hunting and/or self-defense as one of their purposes, the federal second amendment is about protecting people from the government, not from crime.
---Does anyone here NOT believe in doing background checks on any prospective gun owner? Why not? Do you really believe that some future totalitarian government is going to conduct simultaneous raids throughout the country one night and disarm everyone? If not that, then what exactly are you worried about?
Background checks are different than registration; as to the latter, yes. There's direct precedent for it. And to quote Judge Kozinski in his dissent in Silviera:
My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

---Does anyone want to argue that the difference in violent crime and incarceration between the United States and most other developed countries is primarily due to our genetic makeup and inherent criminal tendencies, and not to a large extent with our far more widespread ownership of guns?
Yes. Cross-country comparisons are always problematic because of the large number of confounding variables, but gun ownership does not correlate well with crime rates. Moreover, the U.S. violent crime rate not involving guns is also significantly higher than that of many of the other 'industrialized' countries that the U.S. is regularly compared unfavorably with in gun statistics.
---Does anyone actually see a practical and politically realistic way of reducing the number of incidents of violent crime (including gun crime) in this country, without simply throwing more and more people in jail, at considerable financial and social costs to society?
Yes. End the war on drugs. It will instantly reduce the prison population, will free up judicial and penal resources for actual violent criminals, and will reduce the motive for much violent crime.

What I simply can't understand is the way that a position like my own (allowing for properly licensed ownership of most every type of firearm other than those which have little credible use beyond criminal activity) is seized upon and twisted by the gun lobby into that of a person who "hates guns." I wish someone could explain that bit of mental gymnastics, because I've been trying to figure it out for a long time.
Presumably for the same reason that people who go around advocating "reasonable" restrictions on abortion are generally called "anti-abortion" by the abortion lobby. Because the people who propose these things do so as an interim measure towards their ultimate goal. And of course you'll protest, "No, I'm reasonable. Even though everyone else who favors a comprehensive licensing scheme and wants to ban guns that they don't like is really anti-gun, I'm not." But there's no reason anybody should believe that. Especially given your demonstrated lack of understanding of the issues when you start talking about "assault weapons."
   91. Mattbert Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:34 PM (#2704755)
I can't remember where or when I first saw it, but I always loved the line, "People can have all the guns they want. But the Second Amendment doesn't guarantee the right to own ammunition now does it?" Or something to that effect.

In other news, I will vigorously defend my constitutional right to arm bears. Always liked that one too.
   92. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2704756)
Just to winnow it down a bit....

---Does anyone here really think that individual citizens should be allowed to own assault weapons? Why? To what benign purpose? A more efficient elimination of the deer menace? A "really powerful" deterrent against street crime beyond that of less exotic guns?


"Assault weapons" are fully automatic or multiple shot burst. They are already effectivcely outlawed. What you're referencing are semi-automatic rifles that LOOK LIKE military weapons. They are no more dangerous than standard deer hunting rifles. I believe individuals should be allowed to own them; both for historical interest, and, to be able to defend themselves against all threats including potentially oppressive government. That's why we have the 2nd Amendment. That's how we became a country.

---Does anyone here NOT believe in doing background checks on any prospective gun owner? Why not? Do you really believe that some future totalitarian government is going to conduct simultaneous raids throughout the country one night and disarm everyone? If not that, then what exactly are you worried about?


I agree with this. The NRA has long supported instant background checks for felonies/mental illness, and that system is in place. What they, and I, object to is the police or local government being able to restrict qualified people from gun ownership b/c they don't have a reason the government likes.

---Does anyone here believe in total gun control, including a ban on even properly licensed hunting rifles and properly licensed handguns? ("properly licensed" meaning with background checks for violent crimes or evidence of mental instability)


Yes. There are xtreme leftist who do. They just are following a gradualist theory to get there.

---Does anyone want to argue that the difference in violent crime and incarceration between the United States and most other developed countries is primarily due to our genetic makeup and inherent criminal tendencies, and not to a large extent with our far more widespread ownership of guns?


It is due to a whole host of interacting factors. "Frontier" culture, extreme diversity etc. I believe gun ownership has very little to do with it. Look at Switzerland.

---Does anyone actually see a practical and politically realistic way of reducing the number of incidents of violent crime (including gun crime) in this country, without simply throwing more and more people in jail, at considerable financial and social costs to society? We already have more people locked up than any country in the world, and we still have a ridiculously high violent crime rate compared to most any other developed country.


Punishing criminals harshly has done a REALLY good job. Look at the NYC murder rate; down from 2300 to 500 per annum. I also think responsible ownership of firearms by the law abiding does a lot to deter violent crime.

---But as a corollary to the above, is there any realistic way that we're ever going to get to what many or most people would say is a reasonable middle ground: Regulated and licensed sporting rifle and personal handgun ownership, with additional allowances for antiquarian and collectible guns.


Nope. Violates the Constitution. The government has no right to restrict ownership of firearms beyong felons/mentally ill.

I doubt it. Las Vegasically speaking, we're going to be living with armed robbery, murder, accidental gun deaths, school massacres, etc., for a long, long time, simply because it's way too low on the priority list of those who are sick of it, but don't have the energy or the stomach to keep batting their heads against the concrete wall of the NRA and its sympathizers.

What I simply can't understand is the way that a position like my own (allowing for properly licensed ownership of most every type of firearm other than those which have little credible purpose beyond military or criminal activity) is seized upon and twisted by the gun lobby into that of a person who "hates guns." I wish someone could explain that bit of mental gymnastics, because I've been trying to figure it out for a long time.


While I believe your sincerity personally, the anti-gun movement would not stop there. Gun owners/civil liberty supporters have seen what happened in Britain and Australia. The anti-gunners will follow a gradualist strategy until they eliminate private gun ownership. The are trying to divide and conquer. Gradually reduce the gun owning populayion to erode political support for 2nd Amendement rights.
   93. rr Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:39 PM (#2704765)
96. Gaelan Posted: March 03, 2008 at 11:18 AM (#2704738)

It's impossible to talk about liberalism and conservatism in a theoretically rigorous manner in the context of contemporary politics. By any meaningful definition both the Republican and Democratic party are liberal parties, and 90% of Americans are liberals.


29. Gaelan Posted: February 27, 2008 at 12:27 PM (#2701180)

In recent days we've seen the incoherence of liberal ideology in stark relief. Only a liberal could say something so profoundly unimaginative and profoundly stupid at the same time.


****
   94. Arva Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:40 PM (#2704768)
David Nieporent, I took Andy's assault weapons to mean weapons that are fully automatic, and or use explosive ammunition (ie Grenade Launchers and the like), not merely casmetic upgrades of rifles. And David Nieporent, as I own several guns, and have several more coming to me in the future, and have insisted that my wife learn to fire a pistol, a rifle, and the shotgun I keep ready for home defense, I doubt you'll find some sinister proclivity coming from me about banning all guns, despite what the NRA thinks. Not everyone has a sinister agenda beyond that which they stated. Perhaps Andy does believe in full guin control, but to insist that gun ownership does not relate to gun crime seems a bit disingenous (which I porbably spelled wrong). I find education to be a better tack that regulation most of the time. Yes, it creates better educated criminals, but hopefully it discourages more people from becoming criminals.
   95. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:43 PM (#2704773)
"Assault weapons" are fully automatic or multiple shot burst. They are already effectivcely outlawed.
Actually, those are "assault rifles," not "assault weapons." Assault weapon is a political term. And full-auto weapons are not banned; the manufacture of new ones is banned, but there are an estimated 100,000 of them out there which are perfectly legal.
   96. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:45 PM (#2704775)
but to insist that gun ownership does not relate to gun crime seems a bit disingenous

But the empirical evidence is there. Cities that enacted strict gun control, (NY, DC, Chi etc.) had faster rates of crime increase afterwards than cities than didn't. States that have enacted "shall-issue" carry laws (basically means any non-felon/non-mentally ill person can get a permit to carry a concelaed hand-gun) since the 90's have had bigger decreases in crime, and virtually zero licensed guns have been used in crimes.

I truly believe that if you allowed every law abiding citizen who wanted to to carry a hand-gun (after a background check and safety course) you would have far less crime.
   97. Lassus Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:46 PM (#2704778)
Gun owners/civil liberty supporters have seen what happened in Britain and Australia.

Acutally, I don't mean this so much snarkily as literally. What HAVE we seen happen in these places? Are people getting increasingly gunned down by criminals? Is there a black-market gun operation that's causing a rise in crime? Or are less people simply allowed to own guns?
   98. Dan The Mediocre Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2704780)
The NRA has long supported instant background checks for felonies/mental illness, and that system is in place.


Really? Even at gun shows?
   99. The Good Face Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2704781)
---Does anyone here really think that individual citizens should be allowed to own assault weapons? Why? To what benign purpose? A more efficient elimination of the deer menace? A "really powerful" deterrent against street crime beyond that of less exotic guns?


The issue is what's an assault weapon? A fully automatic rifle? A high capacity firearm? One that looks "scary"? Rifles that incorporate a bayonet lug? All of these have been used as criteria in our gun laws, and they make classifications arbitrary and strange. More to the point, why does somebody need a purpose beyond wanting one? Freedom shouldn't be subjected to meeting somebody's criteria that they have a "benign purpose," which obviously means different things to different people. Some guns are just fun to shoot, utility be damned. FWIW, a fully automatic rifle is in many ways less dangerous than the current semiautomatic versions on the market simply because an untrained shooter would exhaust his ammo so quickly. The M-16 and M-4s currently in use by our military typically no longer fire fully auto, but either in 3 round bursts or semiauto mode.

---Does anyone here NOT believe in doing background checks on any prospective gun owner? Why not? Do you really believe that some future totalitarian government is going to conduct simultaneous raids throughout the country one night and disarm everyone? If not that, then what exactly are you worried about?


All gun sales already incorporate a background check, at least in my state. May vary somewhat by state, but I don't have a problem with background checks. Not everybody should be a gun owner.

---Does anyone want to argue that the difference in violent crime and incarceration between the United States and most other developed countries is primarily due to our genetic makeup and inherent criminal tendencies, and not to a large extent with our far more widespread ownership of guns?


I think the reasons are more cultural than genetic. Also, our idiotic drug war doesn't help.

---Does anyone actually see a practical and politically realistic way of reducing the number of incidents of violent crime (including gun crime) in this country, without simply throwing more and more people in jail, at considerable financial and social costs to society? We already have more people locked up than any country in the world, and we still have a ridiculously high violent crime rate compared to most any other developed country.


The drug war. Our great national shame.

---But as a corollary to the above, is there any realistic way that we're ever going to get to what many or most people would say is a reasonable middle ground: Regulated and licensed sporting rifle and personal handgun ownership, with additional allowances for antiquarian and collectible guns.


I'd say we're pretty close already. Guns are mostly regulated, but most people can get mostly what they want in most states. Not bad for such a political issue. I'm not a utopian.

To me the 2nd Amendment is a useful bellweather, because people who are willing to take away one constitutional right probably won't hesitate to take another if they see a benefit to themselves.
   100. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 03, 2008 at 05:47 PM (#2704782)
Actually, those are "assault rifles," not "assault weapons." Assault weapon is a political term.

And full-auto weapons are not banned; the manufacture of new ones is banned, but there are an estimated 100,000 of them out there which are perfectly legal.

I know. I'm a collector, but people use the terms interchangeably.

Most states make them very hard to get, almost impossible, and they cost $10,000 and up. They are effectively unacquireable for anyone but rich collectors.
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